Americans Don’t Trust CNN, but Believe Trump Way Less

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Donald Trump speaks during the CNN Republican debate in Miami on March 10, 2016. Rhona Wise/Getty Images/AFP

As Donald Trump has waged his war against the media, he has reserved a special brand of malice for CNN, often tweeting insults at the network, as well as at its journalists and pundits. 

A new poll Wednesday indicated that Trump’s broadsides against CNN have perhaps affected how folks view the network—it was found to be the least-credible media outlet. But while CNN might not have the full trust of its viewers and readers, respondents in the poll still believe the media outlet far more than the president.

PBS had the highest net credibility rating (a measurement that subtracts the percentage of voters who responded not credible from the percentage of those who responded credible) of 41 percent, according to the Morning Consult/Politico poll. After PBS, the list of media outlets ran: The Wall Street Journal (37 percent), ABC (35 percent), CBS (35 percent), NBC (32 percent), The Washington Post (27 percent), The New York Times (27 percent), MSNBC (20 percent), Fox News (18 percent) and, finally, CNN (17 percent).

While voters typically don’t approve of the job Congress is doing, they actually trust their representatives. Respondents gave a generic “your member of Congress” a 27 percent net credibility rating. But the Trump administration had no such luck: The White House had a 15 percent net credibility rating, and the president himself had a zero net credibility, meaning just as many voters distrust Trump as those who trust him. And, digging further into the data, the largest percentage of voters don’t trust the president one bit. Thirty-three percent said Trump was “not credible at all,” 13 percent said “not too credible,” 24 percent said “somewhat credible” and 22 percent said “very credible.”

The Morning Consult/Politico poll sampled 1,983 registered voters from July 7 through July 9. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. 

Trump has made it a regular practice to slam media outlets that publish things he doesn’t like, and CNN is certainly not an exception. Most recently, he sparked outrage when he tweeted a video that superimposed the network’s logo on footage of him body-slamming a person during one of his appearances on WWE. It was later discovered the Redditor who seemingly created the source material for the video had regularly posted anti-Semitic and racist material. Another controversy arose when CNN reported it had discovered the identity of the Redditor and was accused of blackmailing the person.

Trump on Wednesday continued his crusade against most of the media, tweeting: “Remember, when you hear the words ‘sources say’ from the Fake Media, often times those sources are made up and do not exist.” He did, however, retweet Wednesday morning a post from Fox & Friends, the morning show on Fox News that often fawns over Trump. While the president might battle most of the media, he seems to have an ongoing love affair with Fox News. He has retweeted offerings from the network nine times in the past three days.